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RDN-made Chicken Meals from Around World: Jamie’s Arroz con Pollo

This National Nutrition Month, we’ll be featuring chicken meals designed by our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists from around our world to celebrate diversity, inclusion, and the importance of delicious healthy eating. All the meals are low fat (and with heart healthy fats), high in fiber, balanced, nutritious and (most importantly) delicious!

RDN: Jamie Lopez, MS, RDN, CDN
Country: Cuba
Why This Meal: This meal is a classic in our Cuban household. It is the definition of comfort food for me. I’ll never forget the smell of this dish as my grandmother prepared it in the kitchen of my South Florida home.  My recipe may never taste as good as my abuela’s but it never fails to send me back to my childhood sitting around the table con mi familia. 
Tips from Jamie: Traditional arroz con pollo includes pimentos, which I would recommend including to add even more color to your plate. (Unfortunately, I forgot to buy them for this recipe).

Arroz con pollo pairs really well with a green side salad. Here I kept it simple with fresh butter lettuce and homemade vinaigrette, just like my abuela would prepare. You can choose to add slices of avocado, tomato, red onion to top your side salad.

Serving size: 2-3 as a main course


  • Small white Onion, diced
  • 1 Bell pepper, diced
  • 3 Garlic gloves, diced
  • Chicken breast (preferably skin on)
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 5 cup chicken stock
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Bay leave
  • Garlic powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Ground annato (or tumeric)
  • Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1/2 can Pigeon peas
  • 1/2 cup green peas


  1. Season chicken with cumin, salt, pepper, coriander, annato, garlic powder. Let marinate for 2 hours. put on a medium flame pan with Tbsp butter and Tbsp of olive oil. Gently brown chicken until spices have caramelized.
  2. Remove chicken from pan (it will still be raw, that’s ok. It’s cooks longer later) Add tbsp olive oil. Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, ground annato. Sweat it down until onion becomes translucent.
  3. Add a cup of rice, pigeon peas and tomato paste to pan. Stir in and coat each grain of rice with veggies mixture. Add 1.5 cups of stock, and bay leaf. Stir together and bring boil. Reduce it to a slow simmer. Add chicken to top.
  4. Cover pan and let it cook together for 30 or until liquid has been absorbed in rice. Once rice is cooked, let the pan sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.